One of the first things you might wonder when hiring a private criminal defense lawyer is how much representation is going to cost you. It’s a legitimate concern and one that most accused individuals concern themselves with while searching for a lawyer. If this is the situation you’re in, it might help to understand how lawyers charge so you can get a feel for how much it might cost you to hire someone.
Attorneys each charge differently based on a variety of factors. You might speak with one attorney who charges by the hour, while another charges based on the type of crime you’re charged with. Attorneys who charge an hourly fee often charge somewhere between $100 and $300 per hour. This is often only a pretrial arrangement, and you could be asked to pay a larger sum if the case goes to trial. If you have an additional personal injury claim related to your matter, personal injury lawyers are generally paid a contingency fee, as the lawyers at Cohen & Cohen can explain.
Attorneys who charge based on the type of charge you’re facing or the crime you’re charged with could charge anywhere between $1,500 and $3,500. Cases that end up going to trial could cost up to $5,000 for a flat fee. Keep in mind that this is typically the case for misdemeanors. If you are charged with a felony, the cost could be significantly higher.
When a lawyer decides whether to charge an hourly rate or a flat fee, there are several things that could be taken into consideration. Some of those items include:
- Whether the lawyer feels the case will go to trial
- How skilled and experienced the attorney is
- The severity of the charge
- The complexity of the case
- The amount of time the lawyer has practiced criminal defense
Expert Witnesses and Investigations
Aside from lawyer costs, there are other expenses that you might be required to pay for. Criminal cases tend to be more complex than other types of cases, and with that complexity comes higher costs. Your lawyer might need to use a particular expert witness to help make your case. You could have to pay a retainer fee for the expert, as well as an hourly fee for his or her time. The same could be true for investigators and witnesses to the crime itself. The more of these professionals you have helping you make your case, the higher the cost will be.
Contact an Attorney for Assistance
Paying a lawyer when you have been charged with a crime could be the last thing you want to do, but it could be the most important. If you’re facing criminal charges, contact a criminal justice lawyer for assistance.